Our last APCON Blog post focused on an overview of ADA compliance for parking lots. Now, to continue this topic, we look into a few benefits of taking the steps to make your parking lot ADA compliant.
In recent years, more and more businesses have been increasing their investments in making sure their buildings and parking lots are ADA compliant. An example of this might be a store owner who has steps leading into his store’s entrance way, but wants to make his or her store more accessible for individuals in wheelchairs. The store owner thus decides to install a wheelchair ramp to allow individuals using wheelchairs, walkers, or crutches, to enter the store.
Despite the monetary cost of this type of project, there are many potential “hidden” benefits of making ADA compliant adjustments to your parking lot and entranceway, such as:
1. Increase Patronage
Keep in mind that by making your parking lot ADA compliant, you will be welcoming a broader range of customers or clients to your facilities. An additional benefit is that you will be creating a more conducive atmosphere for current and prospective employees to enter your building, thereby increasing the employment pool you can draw from.
2. Earn Tax Deductions
According to the ADA website, “the Internal Revenue Code allows a deduction of up to $15,000 per year for expenses associated with the removal of qualified architectural and transportation barriers (Section 190).” As always, check first with an accounting professional, but if you do qualify, this deduction will obviously help you reduce the cost of upgrading your lot to making it ADA compliant.
3. Gain Competitive Advantages
In addition to the above two benefits, consider that making your parking lot ADA compliant may give you a competitive advantage over another similar local business that does not have an ADA compliant parking area. If people have trouble accessing one store, they are much more likely to patronize the store that makes it easier for them to get around.
4. Boost Property Value
By making your parking lot and entranceway ADA compliant, you likely will be increasing the property value of your business, since any business that buys the property would not have to undertake the projects, but would still reap many of the benefits of being ADA complaint by buying your property.
5. Spread Civic Pride
While benefits such as tax deductions or property value increases are great for a business’ bottom line, sometimes just “doing the right thing” goes a long way in and of itself. Consider the difficulties that individuals with disabilities may face on a day to day basis; just by keeping them in mind as you make improvements to your parking lot will go a long way in making their lives easier. Having civic pride can have great ramifications for your business over the long run, as prospective customers feel better about doing business with you because you care about the community.
Last Word– “Is My Business Required to Remove Barriers?”
We will wrap this article up with the above question, which is posed on the ADA website. (Essentially, this is asking the question of whether or not you are required to make your parking lot ADA compliant, removing barriers in your parking lot is what ADA compliance is all about.) On that subject, here is what the ADA website says:
“If your business provides goods and services to the public, you are required to remove barriers if doing so is readily achievable. Such a business is called a public accommodation because it serves the public. If your business is not open to the public but is only a place of employment like a warehouse, manufacturing facility or office building, then there is no requirement to remove barriers. Such a facility is called a commercial facility. While the operator of a commercial facility is not required to remove barriers, you must comply with the ADA Standards for Accessible Design when you alter, renovate or expand your facility.”
This defnitions provides some leeway, but please be sure to check the ADA website for more information.
Lastly, we hope that this article is helpful to you as you make plans to upgrade your parking lot, and we would love to hear any feedback you may have. Thank you.
Associated Paving Contractors, based in Warminster, PA, serves the Philadelphia metro area and would be happy to talk to you about ADA compliance projects that you have in mind, such as wheelchair ramp installation, curb modifications, or handicap parking space upgrades. Please feel free to contact us at 215-672-8000 or [email protected] to discuss in more detail.